Chlamydia and Gonorrhea rates are increasing. What is surprising to some local leaders is the fact that little attention has been paid to these statistics which is putting everyone’s health in the community at risk.
The statistics also show that over 50 percent of residents have never been tested for any of the common sexually transmitted infections, and an even higher number do not even realize that there is a problem. If residents do not feel like their health is at risk the majority of them do not see any reason to spend time at a STI clinic.
Statistics that are now getting local officials attention and stress the need for regular STI testing include,
- Fulton County ranks 6th in the nation for its high Syphilis rate coming in slightly below Los Angeles County, according to 2015 statistics.
- In 2015 there were 379 cases of primary and secondary Syphilis reported in the suburb and county.
- 60 percent of the nation’s HIV rate in 2015 was reported in the community and surrounding Atlanta metro.
The public school district still relies on abstinence based programs that do not include the information students need to protect themselves from sexually transmitted diseases. While these classes do include medically accurate information concerning the risks and dangers associated with HIV/AIDS, students are also taught that abstinence is the best way to protect themselves from STDs and unplanned pregnancies.
While it is true that abstaining from sex is the most effective way to prevent getting pregnant, it does not provide adequate protection from any of the STDs.
The use of contraceptives is also not discussed, and many students graduate believing that a STD could never happen to them. What many of them do not realize is that since not all sexually transmitted infections display immediate signs and symptoms they could already be positive for a STD and not even realize it.
This is only one of the reasons why regular HIV testing in Sandy Springs is so important, and it is also the only way to detect the potentially deadly virus. Regular Herpes testing in Sandy Springs is also important, and it could help to finally lower the rate of infection in area high schools.
Since this bedroom community is part of the greater Atlanta metro area it shares many of the same demographical factors as the larger city. Ethnicities and income vary, along with religious and political beliefs. This can make it difficult for health officials to ensure everyone understands the risk STDs can pose.
Recent economic problems in the city has forced budget cuts to some public clinics, and now that STD testing is no longer covered under Medicare many residents can’t find an open clinic or afford the cost of testing. Even free health care programs are suffering from a lack of funding and are being forced to turn away residents who are in desperate need of testing and treatment for STDs.
One of the biggest factors contributing to the rocketing STD rates is a lack of education. Many community leaders still believe that simply telling teens that abstinence is best will be enough to discourage them from becoming sexually active, and even if they do refrain from intercourse teens and adults are still at risk for contracting any of the common STIs. Misconceptions on how STDs are spread are common, even in older adults and all of this is adding to the community’s growing problems with sexually transmitted infections.
Before heading into the city for shopping or over to the track to catch a NASCAR race consider your sexual health. STDs in the area are increasing which means it is more important than ever to be tested. STI clinics are in Sandy Springs, and can offer you anonymity. Affordable, easy and faster than free HIV testing centers, you don’t even have to use insurance to protect your privacy.